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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

KMS Financial Taps Cetera Advisors’ Exec as President

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KMS Financial Services, a unit of Ladenburg Thalmann, said Erinn Ford will become its new president in March. Most recently Ford served as president of Cetera Advisors, which is part of Cetera Financial Group.

Ford will take the reins from Tracy “Ace” Forsythe, a 20-year KMS veteran who is retiring this summer. KMS works with about 350 financial advisors.

“We were pleased to support KMS in bringing aboard Erinn, as part of our broader strategy of promoting the success of our subsidiaries by providing them with the resources, contacts and intellectual capital to excel in serving financial advisors,” said Ladenburg President & CEO Richard Lampen, in a statement.

Ford cut her teeth in the business at Pacific West Financial Group, where she spent nearly 22 years and served as chief marketing officer, according to her LinkedIn profile. She moved from Pacific West to Cetera in early 2012.

“KMS combines a boutique service culture with the industry-leading resources of Ladenburg, while heavily emphasizing the accessibility of the KMS leadership team to the advisors served by the firm,” Ford said in a statement. “I am a strong proponent of the network model as a structure that adds substantive value to the businesses of independent financial advisors, and Ladenburg is one of the leading players in our industry with this approach.”

In her new role, Ford will oversee recruiting and retention, enhancements to the KMS’ client-service model and changes to its open architecture product platform.

“Erinn Ford has consistently been one of the most visible leaders in the retail financial advice space, especially in the Pacific Northwest region, where she and her family have been involved with our industry for decades,” explained KMS Chairman and CEO Eric Westberg, in a statement.

KMS is one of serveral firms that are part of Ladenburg Thalmann, the others being Securities America, Triad Advisors, Investacorp and Securities Service Network. In total, there are about 4,000 reps working with the five Ladenburg-owned independent broker-dealers.

“We are very fortunate that a confluence of personal and professional plans for Erinn attracted her to KMS, where she will play a central role in supporting the next phase of our growth,” Westberg continued. “We wish Ace the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Jeff Nash, CEO of BridgeMark Strategies, an industry consulting firm, agrees: “This is a clear instance of Ladenburg facilitating a big home office recruiting win for one of its subsidiaries. Erinn is widely viewed as a rising star in the industry who has a talent for driving advisor engagement and growth,” he explained in a statement.


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